MNSEC discusses winter preparation

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On Tuesday, the Mongolian National State Emergency Committee (MNSEC) held its first meeting since the parliamentary election in June. The meeting covered winter preparation work of the food and agriculture, and road and transportation sectors, as well as a report on animal diseases, ongoing projects, and other seasonal issues. The Cabinet’s ministers say that are paying extra attention to this year’s winter preparation as meteorologists expect the upcoming winter to be extremely harsh. EXCISE TAX ON DIESEL FUEL HINDERS WINTER PREPARATION An additional 12 billion MNT was included in the amended 2016 state budget for road maintenance and repair, reminded the Minister of Roads and Transportation. As of September 5, Mongolian thermal power plants reportedly have sufficient coal reserves to last 21 days with regular work load. Experts explained that this amount of reserve could exhaust within a week with heavy workload. Thermal Power Plant (TPP) No.2 has enough coal reserves to last two weeks, TPP No.3 for 13 days, and TPP No.4 has sufficient reserves for 11 days, according to officials. The Ulaanbaatar Railway is facing challenges in restocking mined coal reserves as Russian oil giant and major petroleum supplier of Mongolia, Rosneft Oil Company, will conduct a scheduled maintenance operation between September 15 and October 15. At present, 2,940 tons of diesel fuel is being held at Sukhbaatar border station due to pending payment of excise tax, which is causing difficulty in meeting the coal quota for September. “Economic difficulty and raised excise tax on coal has stopped transportation and is hindering winter preparation work,” Roads and Transportation Minister D.Ganbat said. ELECTION AND BACKBILLS DELAY POWER PLANT MAINTENANCE WORK In the energy sector, a government working group is managing winter preparation work, says Energy Minister P.Gankhuu. However, the sector is still facing difficulties. Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network and other companies delayed their maintenance work due to this year’s parliamentary election. The energy sector is taking special measures to finish maintenance work as soon as possible, the minister reported. Reportedly, thermal power plants in Uvs, Khovd, Dornogovi, Selenge, Sukhbaatar and Khuvsgul provinces are accumulating debt as local consumers aren’t paying electricity bills on time. The Energy Minister complained that these delays in maintenance work and pending bills have made it impossible to cover coal transportation, electricity and fuel expenses. Energy Minister P.Gankhuu proposed getting a loan from the state budget for the required financing for the remaining repair work at coal deposits in Baganuur and Shivee-Ovoo.

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan